Friday, March 22, 2002  
When Yes Means No Everyone knows that the way baseball teams make their money isn't through ticket sales or $10 beers, it's through cable tv deals. The New York Yankees have been able to grab guys like Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina and Jason Giambi thanks to having made deals with outlets like Cablevision who are scheduled to pay them close to $60 million for the rights to televise their games.

So far, no one in NYC has been able to see Yankees spring training games because Cablevision is acting like a bitch. But dont get me started on television rights or the fact that New Yorkers who have Directv are being blacked out of the games because the rights are ... I said for you not to get me started.

J.D Drew had to leave last night's game due to a sore knee. I never liked him.

Pedro says numbers lie, he feels like a million bucks. Which would be ok, but he gets paid $10 million. Martinez is trying to bounce back from a shoulder injury and allowed four runs in five innings on Thursday. His ERA was so out of wack that he actually reduced his spring ERA to 8.65 with the ugly outting. Normally Pedro is a sure thing, but shoulder injuries and pitchers don't mix well. I'll keep my eye on the Bambino's Curse to see how this rickety team will fare against the always-competitive Yanks.

   posted by tony pierce at 1:18 PM

   Thursday, March 21, 2002  
Pocket Change: Jeff Kent could lose $37,000 a day for each day that he is out due to popping wheelies on his motorcycle a mile away from the Giants spring training facility where he broke his hand.

Forget motorcylces, the next big thing, Erubiel Durazo can't stay healthy on his own two feet, despite having a monster spring. The injury prone first baseman was batting .535 (23-for-43) with six home runs before he re-injured his wrist last night.

Larry Bowa worked some magic with the Phillies last year but it's going to take more than blowing his top, getting booted from games and being fined for him to make his team something more than a nice place for Scott Rolen to melt down. I am sure that Billy Martin was one of Bowa's favorite player/managers, but Bowa, a former childhood hero of mine, is in no way a Martin Manager.

Cubs may ruin College Phenom in the same way they ruined Kerry Wood: Pitch him too early, too often, and for too long.

Traded for the Player to be Later Named: Eddie Perez.

Today's player of the day goes to Moe Mullens, pictured emerging from a pond behind the Port Charlotte, Fla., ball park where the Texas Rangers play spring training ball, who claims to have gathered more than 3,800 balls in the 40 years that he has closely followed baseball.

   posted by tony pierce at 2:18 PM  
muhammed ali thinks miguel tejada's ugly, but i think having him on my fanatasy teams is one of the most gorgeous sights a fantasy GM could have.

in fantasy baseball, during a live draft, it's important not to waste your early picks on players that no one is going to take high. Miguel will probably be around in the 3rd and 4th rounds which is crazy for a shortstop who has hit over 30 HRs in each of the last two years and 21 the year before that, averaging over 100 Ribbies over the last two years. my advice is to let A Rod and Jeter and No Mah get picked up early in the first rounds and get yourself that big bat or that big arm in your first two picks and see if your pal Miguel is still sitting there waiting for you.

And dont forget his buddy Chavez over at 3rd who really wants to play for you too. Glaus is Welchie's boy but he strikes out so much. Chipper is an MVP but who knows what playing LF is going to do to his head, it didnt seem to help Kendall.

Early is the only time that you're going to get Ichiro, so nab him while he can, he's one of the few players that will guarantee you steals.

The other is Tampa Bay CF Jason Tyner, but you can wait until the 10th or 11th rounds for him even though I agree with the scouts that he will swipe 50 bases this year.

Why didnt I give you this info earlier?

Because Baseball Blog 2002's Yahoo Fantasy draft hadn't commeneced, so why give you all my secrets?

Some other sleepers: Todd Hollandsworth is going to be back and healthy and booming in Denver which should give you average and homers and ribbies. He will probably hit after Helton which should increase both players' numbers.

I also like Nomo in the 7th to 8th rounds, Matt Anderson, the closer for the Tigers in the 9th round. I think that Cliff Floyd is still ridiculously underrated down in Florida and if he was a Yankee he would be a movie star.

Speaking of Yankees, I'm bummed that I didnt get my boy Soriano, but he strikes out so much that it give me the shakes. But he was just a rook last year, lets see if he can keep it together this time around. But the boy has wheels and isnt afraid to swing that bat.

I like Alan Ashby in the 12th round, which is usually where I found him, along with 20 game winner Paul Moyer.

   posted by tony pierce at 11:08 AM

   Wednesday, March 20, 2002  
today's newslinks:
MLB will continue with the singing of "God Bless America" during the 7th Inning stretch, there will be a US flag patch on uniforms and caps, there will be a series of patriotic logos on the field come opening day and holidays, and the Canadian teams will do Canadian things because for some reason MLB doesn't seem to think that MLB is enough for people who come out to see baseball in April and that people havent had this uber-patriotism shoved deep enough down our throats.

What's the Big rush Dept: MLB is all freaked because baseball games went a whole 15 minutes longer than "normal" last year due to the juiced ball, I mean, increased offense. Pardon me, but I am not one of these people who pays my money and rushes to the ball park so I can keep an eye on my watch and get the fuck out of there as fast as I can. Like the kids all around me in the bleachers, I'm ususally rooting for extra innings.

The Dodgers have not found a shortstop as Sports Illustrated would have you believe. They've just found another Johnny Bravo who fits the suit.

Reuben Rivera went head-to-head with the Indian's head doctor: here's my prognosis, Reuben: you're as good a theif as you were an outfielder: either run for office or work for Tribune Corp- plenty of dirty crooks who dont know how to lie very well in those circles.

And speaking of Crazy, I thought Derek Bell went into Operation Shutdown last year when he hit .173 with 5 HRs. What, are you only going to hit 4 home runs this year, buddy? By the way, MFing Mike Hampton hit 7 home runs last year, DB, and you went 0-4 against him with a K, so why don't you just do like Gwen says, and "hush hush darling" until you make it over the Mendoza line.

Finally, it has nothing to do with baseball, but Hunter S. Thompson wrote about the NCAA tourney today, and he is a living legend and thus is way more than worth of this link.

   posted by tony pierce at 3:57 PM  
jeff kent may have been doing more than riding his motorcycle, allegedly, when he broke his wrist a few weeks ago in Arizona. He may have been popping wheelies.

The Gyro's All Star second baseman swore that he hurt his wrist while washing his truck, but he gets like $5 million a year, you'd think that he'd have something better to do with his time than wash his truck, and he does, he has time to lie and pretend that he's Evil Knievel. Allegedly.

I like Jeff Kent and I pity him. He has put up amazing numbers in SF playing for the best manager in baseball hitting behind the biggest side show in town. If I hurt my wrist while showing off on my motorcycle, I would have lied about it too. Especially if it meant that it could cost me millions as a breach of contract.

But I would have made up a better lie.

I woulda said I was in a fist fight in Yuma where a bunch of locals were calling Barry gay.

I woulda said that I was in a failed bankrobbery attempt in Phoenix where someone was trying to steal the safe deposit keys from retirees, and the suspect looked alot like former Phoenix Sun Charles Barkely.

I would have said that I was thumb wrestling Carottop and the loser would have to continue doing those embarassing 1-800-COLLECT commercials.

I would have said my daughter's pet turtle bit me and i slapped him.

I would have said that I was making flap jacks and forgot that the skillet was made all of metal and I forgot the oven mitt and then I punched the wall out of pain.

I would have said anything other than I did it while washing the car.

But I guess now we know that Jeff Kent is a MVP-callibur MLB player, but a rookie-league bullshitter.

The things you learn on Baseball Blog 2002

   posted by tony pierce at 11:14 AM

   Tuesday, March 19, 2002  
people wanted to see pudge's ass, so there you go. he's a catcher, i say grow your ass as big as you want. as long as he stays healthy, i say he should become as bootylicious as he wishes.

pickens are slim behind the plate. and the dodgers should feel blessed to have their phenom Paul Lo Douca.

in my opinion there are only 6 catchers that matter: Piazza, Pudge, Posada, Fick, Charles Johnson, and Javy.

Wiki Gonzalez is the only young catcher worth a look, and the most exciting catcher in a long time, Jason Kendall will be spending most of his time trying to make it happen in left field.

There used to be a time where everyone was looking for the left handed pitcher.

In all of baseball, last year there were only three catchers who hit over .300 (Lo Duca .320, Pudge .308, and Piazza .300) and only four to hit over 20 home runs (Piazza 36, Lo Duca 25, Pudge 25, Posada 22).

The reason that I would let Pudge do anything that he wanted to do as long as he stayed healthy?

18 catchers played in more games than Rodriguez last year. he ended the season 6th in RBIs for catchers.

   posted by tony pierce at 7:35 PM

   Monday, March 18, 2002  
Spring training brings the best out of some people, while exposing others as hotheads and some for being big fat pigs.

"His butt is huge," a Texas Rangers insider told the Sporting News regarding their All Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

I like that sort of inside analysis.

Then there is the blossoming rumor that Jeff Kent was not the first player to ever break his wrist from washing his truck, that he might have actually had a teensy little motorcycle accident - an occurance that is at both much more believable, and unfortunately verboden within his contract with his employer.

Those sorts of stories make me laugh.

It doesn't make me happy to see that Barry can wear his elbow protector because of his "pre-existing" injury. Since when does having a stick up your ass exempt you from having to play by the rules that everyone else is forced to?

Max Power brought up some interesting points in his defense of Bonds, a position that I do not envy.

Power, by his examples, fell for the biggest trick in the book, judging Barry by his stats.

On paper Barry Bonds is probably the greatest baseball player in the entire history of the game. Tons of homers, ribbies, stolen bases, walks, runs, hits, gold gloves, all the things that makes a player great, no?

Hell, no.

Underneath their lies and jealousies there is a grain of truth behind the reasoning behind keeping Pete Rose out of the Hall of Fame, and no one will say it outloud because they dont have the courage, but behind closed doors, I bet they whisper the word "class."

Pete Rose is a hick from the middle of America and he got tangled up in some bad habits as he collected more hits than everyone who ever picked up a bat. And some of the things that he did on the field rubbed the fans of the opposing teams the wrong way, sometimes.

But no one could ever say that Pete Rose didnt put his heart and soul into every at-bat, every out, every minute that he was in uniform.

And he got more hits than anyone, and he won world series games, and he's a champ, and he should be in the Hall.

And Barry should be in the Hall too. He's a dick, his teammates don't like him, but he has had an amazing career and not every son of a major leaguer is guaranteed that. And Barry's dad was a super star, and Barry is even more of a superstar.

But I will tell you something about the numbers, people, Max Power included, that you need to remember: they don't say everything, infact sometimes, my friends, they lie.

During the season of '97 in which I attended 79 of the home games. I saw several late-inning comebacks, I saw a no hitter, I saw Mark McGwuire hit a ball over the scoreboard in batting practice and I saw a man play the singing saw for the National Anthem.

Not all of these things can be documented on paper across an Excel spreadsheet and easilly recorded on web sites.

And there will be a day when my children or grandchildren will wake me from my daze, shaking my arm and say, "tell us about Barry Bonds, you saw him at his prime, tell us how amazing he was."

And I will have quite a hard time convincing them that he wasn't the biggest asshole in town and that his stats were padded with 4 hit nights in Seattle against nobodies, and only 3 hits in the whole playoffs, and that yes, he was a great player when he wanted to be, but most the time he wanted to try to look cool or pout.

But I won't have a hard time telling them about the incorrectly called Triple Play that the Giants were victims of one afternoon against the Cubs, because, thankfully the Baseball Library has recorded it.

In San Francisco, the Cubs pull off the first triple play in the majors this year, taking advantage of the infield-fly rule and the wind at San Francisco to turn an odd one against the Giants. With 2 on, Stan Javier lofts a fly into shallow center field and umpire Bob Davidson waits before calling an infield fly rule. Three Cubs lunge for the ball before it bounces off center fielder Brian McRae's glove and hits the ground for the first out. Kirk Rueter tries for third, but McRae's throw beats him. Hamilton tries for second, but 3B Jose Hernandez's throw to Ryne Sandberg nabs him to complete the triple play.

My offspring will ask, "what does this have to do with anything?"

And I will say, this "the umpire called a ball that landed in right center field -- not even shallow center, as reported -- an Infield Ground Rule a second before it hit the ground, as the crowd was screaming as the runners were realising that it was about to be a Texas Leaguer single.

And the kids will say, "so?"

And I'll say, not every stat is correct in that book of yours, not everything that appears to be kosher is kosher, and Barry Bonds was a talented fellow who will have about nine people come to his funeral, and that is one of the biggest stats that you should worry about as you take your trip around the bases.

   posted by tony pierce at 5:02 PM

   Sunday, March 17, 2002  
by the way, this might be the last year for the minnesota twins.

probably the last year for the expos too, but they didnt win the world series in '87 or broadcast their games in English, so it's hard to get choked up about that one.

i can't say that i've been paying that much attention to the dark cloud of "contraction" hanging over the twin cities, but the more that i think about it the more i dont understand it.

first of all, i always thought that minnesotians were cool. ive always loved the Replacements, and Soul Asylum, and Prince.

i never knew how much I liked Jesse Ventura until the shrewd people of minnesota elected him Governor.

and the Timberwolves seem to be doing well, as do the Vikings. And I'm always hearing good things about the St. Paul Saints, and when do you ever hear about minor league baseball?

so how are they letting their major league team go away?

according to Minnesota Star-Tribune sports columnist Patrick Reusse, some of the blame needs to be rested on State Senator John Marty, who appears to be one of those people who doesn't like baseball enough to let the owner of the team have the state flow the team a $150 million interest-free 25-year loan to build a new $300 million stadium. Am I crazy to think that if that's all it takes to keep the team it's worth it, since the owner is going to put up the other $150 million himself?

Reuse suggests that Sen. Marty is trying to use Alabama attorney Donald Watkins as a red herring, giving his constiutuents the false idea that the Watkins will buy the team for $150 million and then build a stadium himself:

The Donald's not coming to the rescue. Period. No chance.

You got that, Sen. John Marty? Step out from behind Watkins, because there's no cover. When it's time to write great big checks, this guy's going to be an Alabama apparition.

Stop following your instinct to be a weenie and for once show some guts, senator. Don't whine about Bud Selig. Don't whine about Carl Pohlad. Don't offer Watkins as a camouflage.

Just say major league baseball wasn't worth a dime of public investment and shut up.
Patrick Reusse, Star Tribune 3/17/02

And with that, Baseball Blog 2002, has found a columnist that it can trust in the twin cities of Minnesota - St. Paul.
   posted by tony pierce at 1:09 PM